MORE patients visited A&E at the University Hospitals Dorset last month, with demand rising above the levels seen in March last year.

NHS England figures show 13,420 patients visited A&E in March.

That was a rise of 34 per cent on the 10,045 visits recorded during February, and six per cent more than the 12,650 patients seen by the trust's two predecessors in March the previous year.

The majority of attendances last month were via major A&E departments – those with full resuscitation equipment and 24-hour consultant-led care – while 10 per cent were via minor injury units.

Meanwhile, around eight per cent were via consultant-led departments with single specialties, such as eye conditions or dental problems.

Across England, A&E departments received 1.7 million visits last month.

That was an increase of 32 per cent compared to February, and 10 per cent more than the 1.5 million seen during March 2020.